When I find myself running out of European issues, I find a perch on one of the branches of that thick tree that is the portal of the European Union, until I find a cozy twig where I can pluck a subject to report on: the "Your Voice in Europe” section.

At the moment, for example, there are 36 subjects awaiting our opinions – from the estimated 500 million citizens of the Member States. There is something there for everyone, from the regime for fruit and vegetables originating in the Community, to the dilemma over whether EU citizens should or should not eat cloned animals, to future economic relations with the United States. There are also issues of much broader interest, such as the use of highways, toll-free or paid.

This branch of the EU site is relatively new. It sprouted a few years ago after the critical uproar over the democratic deficit and the lack of public consultation and direct citizen participation in the tortuous decision-making process in Brussels.

But the initiative in itself is not to be taken lightly. Numerous proposals among those posted have direct financial impacts on certain industries or economic sectors. One can reasonably assume that there will be fewer of one’s compatriots (Romanians) interested in the proposed regulation of hedge funds than those who have (or should have) an opinion on changes in EU policies concerning the growing of fruits and vegetables. I recommend giving it a read (albeit a skim-read). You will find, I am sure, at least one subject that will drive you to leave a comment.

One of the themes that amazed me is the one concerning the future of European citizenship. Conscientiously, I click from link to link and get to a page – “Have Your Say!” – covering the topic. I read a brief description, then click on a short Youtube video in the corner. A lady begins to talk. I do not know who she is, as there is nothing written anywhere to identify her. I realise that she must be Viviane Reding, Commissioner for Justice, Fundamental Rights and Citizenship, whose remit covers European citizenship. I check up. Blonde, wears glasses – it’s her all right. The concept of "European citizen”, she goes on, was introduced into the global political circuit 20 years ago in Maastricht.

This individual (that is, the European citizen) has certain rights. Not a huge amount. He has the right to settle in any other Member State, to appeal to any of the 27 consular services when in a country outside the EU, to elect or be elected to the European Parliament, and to start petitions destined for the same organisation. And that's about all.

How does the Commission present the subject it is soliciting our views on “in this largest public consultation in the history of the European Union” – namely, our views on the future of the Union? Simply, it wants to know how the Union can become accessible to all, and drawing on examples from everyday life, it asks us how the Commission can make them easier: online purchases from another Member State, moving from one country to another, and vehicle registration in another Member State. So far, it’s along the lines of “little problems leading to big policies." Then comes the Final Question, the Key to the Consultation, the heart of the subject: “What kind of Union would you like to live in by 2020?"

Today, in 2012, German and Danish citizens of the EU no longer want to help the Greek EU citizen. Will they want to help the Italian? Maybe. French EU citizens would like eurobonds to be brought in to help, if need be, Spanish EU citizens. But along comes the British EU citizen (excuse the association of terms) who cries from across the Channel that it’s out of the question for him. The Dutch EU citizen would certainly like to sell flowers, bulbs and equipment in a market as free as possible, but has no intention of letting the Bulgarian and Romanian EU citizens in to caper about in the Schengen area. For several years, in fact since the start of the crisis, all the meetings of the 27 European citizens called Councils – of Heads of State and of Government – have come to nothing, without achieving an important decision, and promising only to deliver the promises later.

Therefore, my only answer to the question from Mrs. Reding would be something like: "2020? Above all, good health for everyone... When your health goes, everything goes."